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Alabama Panel: San Jose State week

How do you expect this year’s defense to differ from last?

Kenny Freeman:  Alabama did lose a lot on defense, mostly in the defensive backfield, which will probably show in week two. All in all I think Alabama has enough leaders coming back on defense to hold them together for another good year on that side of the ball.

Shannon Ferguson: Granted we lost nine starters on the D, I think this year’s defense has a chance to be just as good. We’ve got younger, athletic and talented guys out there. Once they gel and work as a unit and get comfortable with the plays these guys are going to be just fine.

Roger Hoggle: Very little up front. Josh Chapman and Damian Square will be good on the defensive line. The difference will be in the secondary, where we will have new starters everywhere execept strong safety, and linebacker where Hightower will try to replace Mclain. Hopefully, we are deep enough at every position that we won’t see a huge drop off from last year’s defense.

Who has more to prove this season: Julio Jones coming off a disappointing 2009 campaign or the defense who now must pay without a run stuffing Terrance Cody and defensive captain Rolando McClain?

Kenny Freeman: I am not so sure Julio had a real disappointing year, he is wearing a SEC and National Championship ring. I would say the defense, particularly

Don’t’a Hightower coming off knee surgery and the loss of so many quality players.

Shannon Ferguson: Defense for sure. Last year Julio Jones started out slow because of a nagging injury and wasn’t 100 percent, but proved himself game after game as the season went along.

Roger Hoggle: The defense. Julio didn’t have a bad year, it was more that the defenses doubled him and freed up the other receivers. Defenses will have to respect Maze, Hanks and Michael Williams so Julio will see more balls come his way. As for the defense, last year we depended on them a lot when the offense was struggling. With so many new faces on defense, they will all have to prove themselves come game time. As with any Alabama team, if we are to be successful, the defense will have to really step up and perform.

If the 2010 season doesn’t end with another National Title, what will it take for fans to deem it a success?

Kenny Freeman: Alabama fans are so crazy, me included (Auburn fans will love that statement) but it is so, so hard to repeat and it will be a lot of sad faces

when that first loss comes along and I do think it will come. At the same

time, I think Alabama does have a chance to repeat  but a smaller chance than

not.

Shannon Ferguson: I can handle losing one game, but that’s it! Also, winning the SEC championship game is a must. But I know winning a National Championship is a tough act to follow!

Roger Hoggle: The SEC Championship is always Alabama’s goal. If we win that and not a National Championship, we will be disappointed, but the season will be deemed a success in my eyes. As long as we can win our conference, we can’t control anything above that.

San Jose State is not exactly a threat, but what do you hope to see out of the Tide this week?

Kenny Freeman: To me, everybody you play is a threat, some just more than others. I would like to see a well-disciplined, balanced attack on offense and a very

aggressive, hard hitting, gang-tackling, flying to the football defense.

Shannon Ferguson: Plain and simple: a win!

Roger Hoggle: An explosive offense and a stifling defense. I am interested to see if we are in game shape, and see if the defense has the people in place to make plays. I really want to see Dre Kirkpatrick and see if he is going to be the stud I think he is.

What is your prediction for the final score this week?

Kenny Freeman: Alabama  38,  San Jose State 6

Shannon Ferguson: 42-14 Bama

Roger Hoggle: 45-6 Alabama